Re-L Mayer is called into action when the normally obedient robots of her city, Auto Reivs, begin to go crazy one after another. At first it seems as if some strange virus has taken a hold of their systems, but as she investigates further it begins to be clear that the government she has been raised to survive so faithfully has been hiding more than a few big secrets about the domed city of refuge she lives in as well as the desolate world outside.
The worst aspect of this show is defiantly the violence, which is what earned this title an M rating. Like Trinity Blood, however, I feel like this show can still qualify as a YA title, abit one with a strong warning. Blood is splashed here and there, people are stabbed, shot at, limbs hacked off, etc. If blood and violence put you off your tea, skip this title. You’ll sleep better.
This is the second downside of this title. You’ll find your typical YA arrangement, d-mns and sh-ts with the occasional b-words flung in for good measure. Except when it comes to one episode in particular where one character just goes off on another, flinging out the “female-dog-in-heat” word repeatedly. It’s a pretty vicious scene, so be well warned before hand. This alone nearly got the show kicked from my line up, but, thankfully, it only happens once.
We’re pretty good on this end overall. Re-L does like wearing a short tank and panties to bed and when exercising though, which constitutes pretty much all of the “fanservice” for this show. To be honest, we don’t see all that much really. The detail whenever she is dressed like this is pretty light to nonexistent. In fact, the art’s line count usually goes down a bit. Also the focus is rarely just on her during this time. Think the first Alien movie: skivvy strip down scene that goes nowhere. Beaches have more skin and scandal.
Here’s where we get into weird water. I can’t say too much without spoiling some very major plot points, but lets just say there are a few creatures in this world that essentially live forever. As such, they are likened to “gods” at times. No worship or anything goes on. And there’s very little religious connections that aren’t simply skin deep. For example, one of the main characters has a necklace that looks a bit like a cross. Also many of the robots are shown in a prayer position. I’ve little doubt the creators were making comments on how mankind tends to “lose faith” and thus showing robots to still have faith was a jab at society. But symbolism is as far as it goes and even that is vague most of the time. Any commentary made is more what the viewer makes of it themselves.
I really enjoyed watching this show back when it was first coming out. Dystopian shows aren’t as common as you might think. Well, not well done ones anyway. In order for me to really buy it, the world needs to be very well written with appropriate art and mood to fit. Ergo Proxy has all of that and more. From the dark music, somber colors, sharp art and more realistic character design right on through to the fully written world and plot, this is a true dystopian work to the core. And I’m sure having a few people from the Ghost in the Shell team helped out a bit, too.
Of course, what’s anime without random bursts of wth moments? There are one or two episodes that feel especially odd, like side stories or filler that place the characters in impossible situations. However, these were actually rather welcome breaks from the dark universe the world exists in the rest of the time. Although it should be noted that they can be a bit frustrating as the end of the show wraps up quickly, as if the creators had thought they might have more time than they did, and you can’t help but wish that bizarre quiz show style recap episode had been used for something more important.
All in all, if you love deep science fiction, with brain twists here and there, and very dark world settings, you’ll probably find this an amazing ride. Just be well warned that they gave it an M rating with violence in mind. While I seem to be a bit more flexible in that area, it’s nothing to make light of. Go in with caution.
Personal rating: Young adult
Languages: Sub and dub
Official rating: Mature
Genre(s): science fiction, action, fantasy
Legal streaming: Hulu